Scripture: And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”    (Luke 3:22 NKJV)
(See also Matthew 3:17 and Mark 1:11)

Observation: Jesus has come to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.  While Jesus did not need to be baptized – He had not sinned – He wanted to establish a pattern and give an example for all who have sinned.  John agrees to baptize Jesus and as Jesus comes up out of the water the Trinity come together as a special revelation to all gathered there – Jesus is coming up from the water, the Holy Spirit, in the form of a dove, descend on Jesus, and the Father speaks words of love and affirmation (our text).

Application: No one would deny the power of words to destroy, words that unfortunately are repeated in many homes, by many parents.  “You’ll never amount to anything!”  “I wish I had never had you!”  “Why can’t you ever do anything right?”
     Children repeat the words, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me.”  While they may try to convince themselves that whatever their friends say about them does not hurt them, the truth is that children’s minds and hearts are soft and fragile and even the smallest criticism or harsh words have a great impact in their hearts and minds.
     At the very beginning of His ministry, Jesus received words of affirmation from His Father.  His Father, Our Father, told Him three very important things which we should transmit to our children:  1. “You are MY beloved Son”: Those words are loaded with meaning!  “You are mine!” “By being born of me you have within you a part of me!”  “We are forever united biologically and emotionally!”  If you have adopted a child you can say “I chose you!  You are mine!  And if I had to do it over again I would choose you all over again!”
2. “You are BELOVED Son”: We must remind our children daily, often “I love YOU!”  “Nothing you can ever do will make me love you any less or stop loving you!”
3. “In YOU I am WELL-PLEASED”: Jesus heard words of affirmation from His Father, and our children need to hear words of affirmation from us.  “I am so proud of you!”  “You are awesome!”
     Ellen White wrote: “It is a parent’s duty to speak right words. . . . Day by day parents should learn in the school of Christ lessons from One that loves them. Then the story of God’s everlasting love will be repeated in the home school to the tender flock. Thus, before reason is fully developed, children may catch a right spirit from their parents” (Child Guidance, p.26)

A Prayer You May Say: Father, help me to affirm my children and confirm in their hearing and through my actions that I love them and that You love them.  Help me to build them up, encourage them, and strengthen them.  Help me to reflect Your love to them so that they will not only love me, but that they may also love You.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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